Today’s society seems to be more accepting of single adults than in the past where almost everyone was expected to marry at an early age. Although there is acceptance, many coupled individuals are curious about their single friends and family members. If you are married (or in a relationship) and feel sorry for your single friends and family, please do not feel the need to make any of these comments or ask these questions, like:
1. “When are you getting married?” In my recent social media survey, this was the NUMBER ONE QUESTION that baffled (and irritated) most singles. If they knew when they were getting married they would tell you (unless they were planning to elope). Many of us are still waiting to be found (ladies) or are still trying to determine who will be “The One” (men). So the answer to this question most times will be, “I have NO idea!”
2. “You can’t find anyone yet? Maybe it’s because your standards are too high.” Well, if we take just anyone who comes along, are we using wisdom? Most singles have some standards that they are sticking with in deciding who they will marry. Many of us are pursuing our purpose and will need someone to walk with us and support us as we achieve our goals. As long as the “standards list” doesn’t contain anything that is above what we will be willing to offer our desired future mate, our “high” standards are just fine.
3. “You need to hurry up, you aren’t getting any younger.” Getting married is not 100% up to either party. The single person must first meet someone who has expressed an interest, and then there is a period of getting to know him or her. Next, a decision has to be made on whether the relationship or friendship should advance to the next level. If a woman is hearing this statement and is already anxious about having children, it adds unwanted pressure to her situation. Speeding up the process of meeting, dating/courting and engagement has not worked for many who tried it. (Of course there are exceptions.) Also, some singles are not concerned with marrying at a young age, as they may prefer to establish themselves first. So our response to this statement is:
“The right situation will happen when the time is right.”
4. “Really? Never married? Okay, so what’s wrong with you?” This comment may cause the single person to become very sarcastic, so if you ask this question be prepared for the answer you will receive. Many are not married simply because no-one asked! Some were not ready for marriage before, so they were not focused on getting married in the past. As I mentioned earlier, they may be focusing on career/education or raising children as a single parent and prefer to wait before entering into a marital commitment. Not being married by a certain age does not always mean that something is wrong with them.
5. “Don’t get married!” The reflex response will be “Why not?” with a bit of an attitude. Married folks, who are having less than stellar marital experiences, may offer this advice. Others who offer this advice may have never seen a successful marriage so they assume that the single person will be spared some heartache if they follow their advice. While it is true that around 50% of marriages end in divorce, if the single person truly desires marriage and is diligent in preparing for it, then there is no reason to discourage them from marriage. They may prepare by participating in pre-marital counseling with their future spouse, by getting out of debt (or by preparing a plan to get out of debt), by practicing healthy eating habits/exercise, and by working on their spiritual lives. Being married has many benefits; some are financial, but many are physical, emotional and spiritual. Here is the bottom line: Many singles WANT to be married! Don’t discourage them!
If you are worried about your single friends and family members, be careful how you present your concerns to them. Instead, consider praying for them and lovingly encourage them. Include them when you plan fun activities with your families or with other married friends. Invite other single men and women! You never know what can happen! 🙂